Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy vol:41 issue:12 pages:2616-20
The bicyclams are a new class of anti-human immunodeficiency virus (anti-HIV) compounds targeted at viral entry. From marker rescue experiments, it appears that the envelope gp120 glycoprotein plays an important role in the anti-HIV activity of the bicyclams. Bicyclam-resistant strains contain a number of amino acid changes scattered over the V2 to V5 region of gp120. Experiments aimed at estimating the relative importance of particular amino acid changes with regard to the overall resistance pattern are described. The sequences of some partially bicyclam-resistant virus strains, obtained during the resistance development process, were analyzed, and the corresponding 50% effective concentrations were determined. Selected mutations observed in bicyclam-resistant strains were introduced in the wild-type background by site-directed mutagenesis. In addition, some amino acids were back-mutated to their wild-type counterparts in an otherwise JM3100-resistant strain. The sensitivities of these mutant viruses to bicyclams were determined. Construction of chimeric viruses, carrying the V3 loop of JM3100-resistant virus in a wild-type HIV type 1 HXB2 background, enabled us to investigate the importance of the mutations in the V3 loop of JM3100-resistant virus. From the results described in the report, it can be concluded that single amino acid substitutions do not influence the observed resistance to JM3100. Also, the mutations in the V3 loop are not sufficient to engender even a partially resistant phenotype. We postulate that the overall conformation of gp120 determines the degree of sensitivity or resistance of HIV strains to bicyclams.